5 Little Mistakes People Make in Job Interviews

Posted on 12.04.2020

Avoid these mistakes with our job and interview preparation tips

6-minute Read

After weeks of scouring the internet and using every single one of the job search tips you know, there’s nothing quite like the excited butterflies you get when you’re finally offered an interview. 

In today’s job market, with COVID-19 still on the rise and unemployment rates double what they were this time last year, those who need a job are hard-pressed to find one. That’s why now, more than ever, it is absolutely vital that you do everything in your power to make sure you stand out and really wow the company reps conducting your interview. 

Let’s take a look at five of the most common job interview mistakes so that you can make sure your interview starts — and ends — on the right foot.

1. Winging It

Your interview begins the second you hang up the phone or read the email telling you that the company wants to interview you. That small window between then and the day of your interview is precious time you need to prepare. 

One of the most common mistakes that job candidates make is arriving at an interview, thinking they’ll just “wing” it.  When those hard questions inevitably come up, their brain goes fuzzy, and they can’t think of a single example to share. They stumble through their answers and come off as uninterested, unintelligent, and unprepared. 

Truth is, most interviewers will generally ask the same questions. In the time leading up to your interview, read up on some of the most commonly asked interview questions and think about how you would answer them. Invest time in studying your potential employer, too — particularly if you’re looking for work in an industry as specialized as healthcare. 

Most health providers need someone with specific skills, strengths, and interests, so you’ll want to tailor your responses to your audience. Know their mission. Understand their goals. And help them see how much value you’ll add to the success of their business.

Your interview preparation is the secret to giving thoughtful and eloquent answers to questions that might have otherwise stumped you.

2. Arriving Late (or Too Early)

Timing is everything, especially in an industry where even a minor misstep could have fatal consequences. It seems like the most obvious thing to be on time for your interview. And yet, people still make the mistake of arriving late. 

When you show up late, you set yourself up for failure. Not only are you flustered and in a tizzy, but you ruin your chance to make a good first impression. Make sure to plan accordingly and allow plenty of extra time for traffic, getting lost, and other unexpected hiccups. 

What makes timing tricky is that you also don’t want to make the mistake of arriving too early, or you’ll run the risk of irritating the hiring manager who wasn’t expecting you until later. If you find yourself at the company’s doors more than 15 minutes early, don’t go inside. Instead, wait in your car or walk around the block. Find a place to sit and prepare for the interview until the time is right to arrive. 

3. Texting or Taking Calls Throughout

One of the most common mistakes made during the actual interview is pulling out your phone and/or forgetting to silence your phone. This leads to loud, frequent interruptions from social media notifications, texts, and calls that distract both you and the interviewer. If possible, leave it in your car, and remove it from the situation entirely. 

Same goes for smartwatches or anything else than can buzz, beep, or ring during your interview. Any peek at a text or notification could send the wrong message to your interviewer.

Bonus tip: Instead of scrolling through social media while waiting for the interview to start, use that time to further prepare for the interview.

4. Failing to Ask Questions

A job interview is a lot like a first date. They want to get to know you, and they fully expect you to try to get to know them too. No one wants to go on a second date with someone who just talked the entire time and never let them get a word in edgewise. It’s the same with a job interview. 

If you want to get a second date, or in this case, another interview or even a job offer, then you need to show interest. Most interviewers will set aside at least 10 minutes to ask them any questions that you might have. This is a perfect time to ask about the company’s culture and get more info about the position.

Don’t waste this opportunity. Asking the right questions can make you look even more impressive as a candidate and help you stand out from the other applicants. 

5. Forgetting to Follow Up

Following up after an interview is very, very important. It lets the hiring manager know that you really are interested in the position and shows positive qualities like directness, organizational skills, and ambition. 

It also forms stronger connections that could help benefit you in the future. Even if you don’t get a job offer, taking time to follow up by sending a thank you note post-interview can go a long way toward developing friendships among professionals who could help teach you how to improve and even reach out about future job openings when they become available. 

How CareerStep Can Help 

As a premier provider of online healthcare career training, CareerStep knows what it takes to turn exceptional training into an exceptional career. With nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, we’ve developed relationships with top health providers throughout the country. That means we know exactly what these businesses are looking for — and it means we can open doors to these opportunities, connecting you with potential employers. After course completion, you’ll get hands-on interview prep to increase your chances of landing a job. 

Take advantage of our end-to-end support, and sign up today!